Arrest made in Marvin Couson murder investigation – 17 years on from Shoreditch nightclub shooting

Marvin Couson with his family

Marvin Couson with his family - Credit: Archant

Detectives investigating the murder of Marvin Couson have made an arrest – nearly 17 years to the day since he was shot in Shoreditch.

Marvin Couson and his sister Margaret

Marvin Couson and his sister Margaret - Credit: Archant

Marvin Couson had been confined to a hospital bed unable to communicate or do anything for himself since he was shot in May 2002 outside the Lime in London Bar which is now known as the Queen of Hoxton. Tragically he died in August 2015.

A 40-year-old man was arrested this morning on suspicion of possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

A £40,000 reward remains on offer to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for Marvin's death.

Marvin was just 26 when he was shot in the chest outside the bar in Curtain Road.

Marvin Couson

Marvin Couson - Credit: Archant

He had been at a hip-hop and garage party called "Ouch" with his cousin and a friend, which was packed out with about 600 people. But a fight broke out between one of the promoters and a group of between 10 and 15 men.

Police believe a man in his early 20s, who was black and wearing a black three-quarter length duffle coat with large buttons and the hood up, approached them and fired a gun.

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Marvin fled along with hundreds of others - but sadly he was shot outside.

Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh, from the Met's murder squad, said: "We are days away from the 17th anniversary of Marvin's shooting and this morning we have made a significant arrest.

"I understand by the nature of the crime there may reluctance to get involved or perhaps people just feel they have moved on as it was so long ago. Well, Marvin's family haven't - they have endured years of heartache.

"They cannot hope to move forward without your help. Were you one of those in the car with the man who fatally shot Marvin?

"Maybe you are scared as you feel embroiled in his actions but there was only one person who pulled that trigger and I encourage you to make that call to me."

Det Ch Insp McHugh also hopes to trace the man wearing the duffle coat.

"He really would have stood out - a man in a heavy coat in May inside a hot and crowded club," he said.

"I know it is a long time ago but those events would undoubtedly stick in your mind if you were there - did you see this man or who was around him that night?"

Police believe the man may have been involved in another incident outside the club. Three men with handguns apparently pistol whipped two others and searched their car. One of them was reportedly wearing a duffle coat and suffering from a skin condition called vitiligo, leaving lighter blotches on his skin.

Det Ch Insp McHugh said: "It is highly likely this is the same man who fired the shot inside the club and the pistol-whipping incident adds more to his description. Did you see what happened outside the club as people poured out? It would have been chaotic but again an incident like this would have stood out."

Marvin's friend remembers seeing at least two black men driving a T-reg red or burgundy Ford Fiesta fast along Curtain Road. The car hit him and he grappled with the front seat passenger.

He heard a gunshot fired and when he walked back towards the bar he saw Marvin lying shot on the ground. It is unclear if the shot came from the Fiesta.

Det Ch Insp McHugh said: "All indications are that Marvin died because he became caught up in a dispute that night between organised criminal gangs from London and Birmingham.

"It is all the more sad as Marvin was not involved in gangs or criminality and we believe he was an entirely innocent victim of a dispute that had nothing to do with him.

"A lot of time has passed and loyalties change so I hope for the sake of Marvin's family - and his two now grown-up children - that someone can find it within themselves to do the right thing."

Marvin's sister Margaret said: "On Sunday it will be the anniversary of Marvin's shooting. I am encouraged that no matter how much time passes by, the police do not give up and we as a family most certainly will not give up our fight for justice."

Anyone with information is asked to call the incident room on 020 8785 8099 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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